How delightful, Dick - may you and Esther have a wonderful time! I shall be sure to look for the music of Lauren Fox. (Actually, her name, and the show, sounds very familiar. I'm on the JMDL
- Joni Mitchell Discussion List
- and after one more night of proper sleep, it'll likely all come back to me...) Bon appetit+
Having experienced/witnessed the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
's production of "The Doorway
" on opening night, I say "d'accord" whole-heartedly to your observation re the widening of the circle by such artistic endeavours - bridging Leonard's music and poetry and ideas, with other forms.
It really is diminishing of me to try and describe the dance vignettes too particularly - and, I shall strive to locate any video as that will enable things to be understood with far fewer of my own words in the way. Fingers crossed!
Of course, the amazing artists/athletes that are the dancers, the imaginative lighting and costumes, the setting itself, the audience response, these and other elements, combine in-the-moment to create the visceral thrills and the spiritual+ residue (and not all that can be captured on any DVD, but, really, any such media captures will be better than I to help live it).
What I, and clearly, the body of the audience around me, appreciated was the way in which choreographer Jorden Morris has structured things - (which, I can see some people as considering unstructured - almost stream-of-consciousness). For me, as a lover of Leonard's music, and of the freedom of the art of rock and roll, it's welcome that Morris does not impose his definition or meanings on things, but, instead, that's left to whatever alchemy forms between the viewer/listener and the sounds and sights coming from the stage.
The interview segments that precede each song/poem/dance are more open-ended philosophical discourse - which is, of course, Leonard's way of speaking in answer to questions about God, spirituality, the nature of songwriting... and, just as naturally, what follows these spoken interludes is an expression of the choreographer's vision, but, it, too, is open to individual interpretation, and does not end - or, really, answer any questions. It's there to be explored - and we each bring to that, and take from it, whatever we do.
The journey of "Pure Ballet
", what is known as a mixed program of dance, (and of which "The Doorway
" is part), is thrilling and does take one all over the map. That's a plus, not a minus, imo. You cry, marvel, and delight, and more, at different stages. Solos, duos, dances of five+, and the full company. There's a pair of dances which serve as appropriately moving and celebratory swan songs for two dancers retiring from the company this season. Along with realizing I really am not in good physical shape, and maybe (surely!) have never been in such condition as to do what these dancers do, I was swept away by the imagination of the designers, who created props, and the lighting, that also creates the environment, the world, in which these amazing people fuse music and dance.
And then, there's the serendipity and magic of things that happen when you bring all these forces together in a physical space. For the most part, the experience is what fills one for the time in the theatre/concert hall. At the end, I had only a few "technical" questions - as to how the magic was constructed eg. what's the gorgeous piece of music heard in the equally gorgeous Peter Quanz-choreographed dance piece "Luminous
"? (Marjan Mozetich’s "Affairs of the Heart
"); what is the language heard in Mauricio Wainrot's epic Carmina Burana
? (Latin and low German, lusts and passions of monks combined in the music of Carl Orff) And, in the performance of "Hallelujah
", at a couple of points, fittingly, a butterfly descended from the heights, to alight on the stage near Sophia (Lee), who was dancing. How, I wondered, did they possibly manage this?
I learned - some prior group of performers had set off confetti cannons in the Centennial Concert Hall. The reverberation of Allison (Crowe)'s powerful voice, in the rafters of the hall at specific points in the song, had dislodged the vestigial confetti pieces, which are what we saw flutter to the stage.
And, when I am in an audience of ballet-goers, transfixed and transported by the words and music of Leonard Cohen, and applauding so long and hard that peoples' hands hurt from the clapping... yes, it's a beautiful thing, and it's what you say
The previous full ballet choreographed by Jorden Morris, "Moulin Rouge
", has become the most successful, and popular, (reaching over 100,000 people in live settings in North America, so far), of all dance works in the near 75-year history of the RWB
Our beginnings never know our ends, as another poet wrote... the potential is exciting, and great, however, as Morris dedicates himself to building "visible music" with the words and songs of Leonard Cohen. Thousands are sharing that this week - and the road is open